The U.S. Department of Education recently revised their College Scorecard website, with improvements that more easily allow users to compares universities.
Schools are rated by cost, graduation rate, percentage of students paying down their debt, students who return after their first year, salary after attendance and socioeconomic diversity.
The Utah System of Higher Education published a review of the updated College Scorecard website on Sept. 15th.
Melanie Heath, Communications Director at the Utah State Office of Higher Education, discussed the advantages of the updated site.
“A major advantage of this website is that it makes these statistics readily available to students,” Heath said. “The visual depictions of the numbers contribute to an overall sense of what these numbers mean for students,”
Heath also mentioned that the College Scorecard website has its limitations.
“Utah typically has a lot of non-traditional college students,” Heath said. “The College Scorecard visuals don’t show the entire picture as far as graduation and retention rates because many Utah students take semesters at a time off of school, and that skews the statistics.”
BYU’s cost of attendance is similar to the national average; the graduation rate is consistently above the national average, and the average salary after attending is above the national average.
“These numbers confirm that BYU students are an excellent education at a great price,” said BYU Media Relations Manager Todd Hollingshead.
Hollingshead responded to the website’s limitations with other sources for students who need more detailed information about the statistics.
“The National Center for Education Statistics is in charge of a website called College Navigator,” Hollingshead said. “This website provides more detail to the College Scorecard numbers, especially the financial aid statistics.”
Hollingshead also advised BYU students to take advantage of on-campus resources to learn more about the statistics that apply to them.
“Our Counseling and Career Center on campus is a great resource for students to view the starting salaries for their field, and to figure out their career trajectory,” Hollingshead said.
Hollingshead said he was proud of the facts behind the College Scorecard statistics.
“Our university’s statistics on the website are reflective of the high caliber of students we have at BYU,” Hollingshead said. “We are an excellent and competitive university, and this updated site definitely shows that.”